Chicken Cashew Stir-fry with Noodles

I love the speed and ease of cooking with a wok. My recipe for Chicken Cashew Stir-fry with Noodles is a breeze to prepare. Once all the ingredients are chopped, they go straight into the wok and everything cooks rather quickly. The sweet hoisin sauce and toasted sesame oil give this dish its slightly sweet and nutty flavours while the cashews provide a contrasting texture. Add the convenience of ready noodles and you’ve got some seriously good comfort food. So wok this way!

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My Mom’s Magic Orange Cookies

It’s wonderful how food can evoke memories. My mom used to make a big batch of these cookies at Christmas, Easter and other special occasions. It’s a recipe she developed herself and perfected over the decades. When I moved to England, I took her recipe back with me. However, I struggled to recreate it and finally figured out how to convert the Canadian ingredients into ones I could find in the UK, namely the flour and vegetable shortening/lard. It was an ongoing project that my mother and I enjoyed working on.

I lost my mom only a few months ago and I miss her every day. In the midst of dealing with my grief, my thoughts somehow reverted to this recipe and all of the times we made it together as well as the conversations we had about adapting it to the UK when I moved away. I know I won’t ever have this experience with my mom again but I can keep her memory alive with sights, tastes and smells. And I can pass on the recipe to my son, who loves to bake with me. Some of the best moments we have together are in the kitchen so we made my mom’s recipe together for this blog post.

Cookies on Rack

We always called them cookies, although they are a bit like cupcakes or muffins. In fact, these cookies never really had a name. We just gobbled them up before we could think about identifying them into a specific category. It was only when my niece Amanda once asked my mom for her “magic” cookies that I came up with the name for the recipe. They have a whole cup of orange juice in them so I added “orange” to the name. So there you have it… My Mom’s Magic Orange Cookies.

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Manomasa Beef Nachos

Nachos, nachos, nachos! A yummy snack that’s perfect for sharing. But some combinations can be very boring and lack flavour. There are two secrets to my scrumptious beef nachos recipe. The first is… use good quality, tasty tortillas, such as the ones from Manomasa. I used two varieties of their premium tortillas: Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper and Manchego & Green Olive. They are sturdy tortilla chips that withstand the weight of the toppings and the heat from the oven.

Manomasa Beef Tortillas

Each variety of Manomasa tortillas is shaped differently and they are packed with flavour, which is the key to this tasty beef nachos recipe.

Manomasa bags

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Chicken Cachaça

It’s summer and that means it’s time to fire up the BBQ! Here’s a great recipe that makes a change from burgers and steaks. Chicken thighs are dark meat so they are slightly fattier than chicken breast but this cut of meat lends itself well to grilling and stays nice and moist.

Chicken

Cachaça, Brazil’s national spirit, is made from sugar cane and apart from being crucial to cocktails such as the caipirinha, it makes a great marinade for meat or fish. You may have heard of cachaça when the World Cup in Brazil was all the rage. Since then, it has been easy to find in the shops. I got my bottle at Cambridge Wine Merchants but cachaça is readily available in various supermarkets too.

Cachaca bottle

The key to the flavours in this Chicken Cachaça recipe is the marinade. It’s easy to make! Here’s what you need.

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Creamy Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle

My trusty Creamy Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle is a very easy recipe to make… with impressive and delicious results. It works best with ribbon-cut noodles, i.e. pasta that is long, wide and flat, such as tagliatelle, fettucine or even pappardelle. The only prep involved is dicing the smoked salmon and chopping the parsley. Everything comes together quite quickly. You prepare the ingredients whilst the water for the tagliatelle is boiling, then you make the cream sauce during the pasta’s cooking time.

A vegetable stock cube (dissolved in boiling water to make a paste) enhances all of the flavours of this dish.

The recipe calls for double cream but for a low fat alternative, you can use Elmlea double light cream – 284ml.

It’s very important to keep in mind that the cream sauce will thicken quite quickly in the skillet, so don’t let the cream sauce boil or even simmer. Keeping the heat low whilst you stir the double cream will keep the sauce from becoming a thick, gloopy mess. At this point in the recipe, you are merely heating the double cream slowly so it combines with the smoked salmon and the spices.

Once you have drained the tagliatelle (best cooked al dente), work very quickly to coat the pasta with the cream sauce. Serve immediately as this dish is best eaten hot. The cream sauce does not reheat well so it’s not a good idea to keep leftovers.

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Picadillo Tortilla Wraps

Picadillo is a dish with ground beef, tomato sauce and vegetables and it can vary greatly from one country to another. My version of picadillo isn’t based on any one authentic recipe. This is a very easy recipe to make. The bulk of the work entails chopping a few ingredients… the word picadillo is derived from the Spanish verb “picar”, which means “to chop”.

I love the contrasting flavours in this dish… tangy olives and sweet raisins. The onions and peppers provide texture and colour.

Picadillo in pan

I like to wrap the picadillo in soft tortillas but for more crunch, tacos can be used as well. The recipe calls for tomato purée to be mixed with water. Tomato sauce (1-¾ cups) can be substituted for the tomato purée but it will be much higher in sodium, so don’t add salt at the end.

Wrapped Picadillo

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Noodles with Prawns and Vegetables in Peanut-Ginger Sauce

Do you love peanut sauce as much as I do? It goes so well with noodles so I created a peanut-ginger sauce for this recipe, which uses crunchy peanut butter for extra texture.

Noodles4

I wanted to use vibrant, crisp vegetables for this stir fry so I chose spring onions, and both green and red peppers (but you can choose yellow or orange ones too!) I added garlic for extra flavour and lots of ginger to enhance the peanut butter’s flavour.

Noodles Collage

A drizzle of sesame oil prepared the stir-fried vegetables for the dish’s nutty flavours. The prawns were enhanced by the soy sauce and Thai fish sauce, which blended perfectly with the baobab peanut butter. And because it’s crunchy, the finished dish looks and tastes like you added a sprinkle of peanuts at the end, but without the hassle of chopping them and/or roasting them.

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Salmon in Black Bean Sauce with Coconut Rice

This salmon with coconut rice recipe is fuss-free and very tasty. Ginger is a particularly fragrant ingredient and lends a clean, fresh flavour to both the salmon and the rice. The bulk of the work is chopping the ingredients and making the black bean sauce. You can even prepare the sauce ahead of time and marinate the salmon in a covered baking dish for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Then all you need to do is pop the salmon in the oven and make the coconut rice whilst the salmon is baking.

Salmon with rice

SalmonIngredients

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Chilli Pesto Chicken Farfalle

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I have an obsession a preference for pasta with cream sauces. This is another one of those dishes! The chorizo and chicken in this dish go really well together. The creamy tomato pesto sauce tames the spiciness of the chorizo and red chillis. The result is a tasty dish with a velvety texture. I used Unearthed’s Chorizo de León, which is a Spanish oak-smoked cured pork sausage with a spicy kick. I find farfalle (bow tie) pasta suits this dish best but any short, sturdy pasta will do.

Farfalle15

Farfalle1

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Tortiglioni in a Rosé Sauce with Pancetta

This pasta dish is best with a short, sturdy pasta such as tortiglioni or rigatoni. The pancetta and onions flambéed in vodka infuse the sauce with extra flavour. If you are a flambé novice, you will soon get over your fear as this recipe is easy to make. The creamy tomato sauce works well with some spicy heat and you are in total control of how much chilli you wish to add to the dish.

Collage Tortiglioni

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